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Chasing Windmills    by Catherine Ryan Hyde order for
Chasing Windmills
by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Order:  USA  Can
Flying Dolphin Press, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Seventeen-year-old Sebastian leads a sheltered life. His father gave up his teaching job to homeschool his young son and keep him safe from the world outside their New York apartment. His father's definition of safe means imprisonment to Sebastian.

Delilah is the only person Sebastian knows other than his father. She becomes his friend while subletting an apartment in his building. At night, Sebastian waits until his father falls asleep and slips out to ride the subway. There he sees Maria for the first time.

Maria lives with the father of her two children. She rides the subway at night because she's afraid to tell him she lost her night job as a grocery store clerk. She knows she and Sebastian have something in common when the subway gets to the end of the line and neither gets off. They remain seated and make the return trip.

Lonely and na´ve, Sebastian and Maria are held prisoner by people who claim to love them. Carl, the father of Maria's children, is physically abusive. Sebastian's dad keeps him fearful of the world outside. Maria and Sebastian fall in love as they ride the subway going nowhere. So begins a modern day version of Westside Story or Romeo and Juliet. But in spite of the danger created by their choices, they are determined that their story won't end in the same disastrous way.

Hyde writes in both Sebastian and Maria's distinctive voices. In alternating chapters each relates the story of their past and their plans for their future together. Theirs is a journey towards love, acceptance, and responsibility. Sweet and suspenseful, this tender romance will keep readers turning pages to an ending that is realistic and never telegraphed by the writer.

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